Rationale: It is very important
for readers to recognize that some letters in our alphabet form
digraphs. Digraphs are two letters combined to make up one sound. To
become a fluent reader as well as a good speller, students need to
understand digraphs so they can match letters to their phonemes. One
example of a digraph that we are going to focus on today is ou = /ow/. During this lesson
students will learn to recognize ou
= /ow/ in spoken words as well as in written words. Students will be
able to learn this digraph by reading and spelling words containing
The Napping House by Audrey Wood (enough for students to work in pairs)
Dry erase board and marker
Chart with “Our owl in the outfield is an outcast”
Elkonin letterboxes (for each student)
Letters for the letterbox lesson in envelopes (for each student): l, o, u, d, s, h, t, r, f, n, c, p, c, k,
Flashcards with the letterbox words on them: loud, shout, sour, found,
cloud, proud, scout. (Enough for students to pair up evenly and share
one set of flashcards).
Worksheets with black and white pictures of certain objects, some of
the objects contain words with the /ow/ sound. The objects on the
worksheet are: couch, book, fountain, box, cow, fox, house, and a
1. I will introduce this lesson by writing ou on the dry erase board. I
will then ask the students “Does anyone know what this says?” I will
allow them to brainstorm and make some guesses. I will then proceed to
tell them “anytime that you see these two letters o and u together, they make the sound
/ow/. Today we are going to learn how to recognize ou as /ow/ in spoken and written
2. Ask students: Have you ever been somewhere, for example a fireworks
display, where it was so loud you had to cover your ears? Well that is
how we are going to remember that o
and u say /ow/, like in the
word loud. We will cover our ears every time we hear /ow/. Now lets all
say the word loud and if you hear /ow/, cover your ears. Loud. Great
job, everyone covered their ears!
3. Now let’s try a tongue twister. I will hold this chart so that we
can read the tongue twister together. The tongue twister is “Our owl in
the outfield is an outcast.” Let’s all say it twice together. Now let’s
say it again but this time stretch out our /ow/ sound and cover our
ears every time we hear it. I will model it for you first, “Oowwr oowwl
in the oowwtfield is an oowwtcast." Now everyone try it with me. “Oowwr
oowwl in the oowwtfield is an oowwtcast." Good job!
4. “Now I want everyone to take out their letterboxes and envelopes
with letters that I passed out earlier. We are going to spell out some
letters with /ow/ in them. We need to remember that we only put one
sound in each box and since o and u work together as a team to spell
/ow/ we will put them in one box together. I will model one word on the
board before we get started.” “I am going to model the word out. Since
I remember that o and u make the sound /ow/ I am going
to put them together in the first box and then add one more box and put
the remaining letter t. So for the word out I only needed to use two
5. “Okay boys and girls, now I want you to use your letterboxes and
letters to spell some words on your own.” I will give them the words
and provide them with the correct number of boxes to use or each word.
I will read out the word, the number of boxes, and use the word in a
sentence for them. For example, “The first word is loud. You will need
3 letterboxes for this word. The firework display was very loud. Loud.”
I will continue to do this for each of the words and I will walk around
the room while they do this and provide assistance as needed.
Words for students to spell:
3 boxes– [loud, shout, sour]
The firework display was very loud.
The children shout when they are excited.
The candy that Sally gave me was very sour.
4 boxes– [found, cloud, proud, clock, scout, jump]
He found a penny on the ground.
She saw the shape of a bird in a cloud.
Tommy was very proud when he got an A on his test.
Tim looked at the clock to see what time it was.
My little brother is a Boy Scout.
Pete likes to jump on the bed.
6. “Now I want everyone to pair up and I will give each pair of
students a set of flashcards with the words that we used during our
letterbox lesson. We are going to practice reading the words we just
spelled. I want you to show the cards to your partner, one at a time to
practice reading the words. When you have gone through all of the
words, switch so that the other person can read the words.”
7. Now I will distribute multiple copies of The Napping House. I will
introduce the book with a book talk:
“On a very rainy and stormy day, everyone decides it
is perfect weather for a nap. Everyone in the house decides they want
to go to Granny’s cozy bed to take a nap. Slowly, one by one, they all
crawl into bed with Granny. But all of a sudden, Granny’s bed begins to
get very crowded. I don’t know if everyone will be able to fit and if
they do, what will happen? We will have to read The Napping House to
I will ask the students to pair up and remember to focus on the /ow/
sound while they are reading. They can remind each other to cover their
ears every time they hear /ow/ in a word.
8. For assessment, I will distribute worksheets with black and white
pictures on it. I will ask the students to color in the pictures that
include words with the /ow/ sound. I will also have them write the
words with the correct spellings below the pictures. (Pictures I will
include are: couch, book, fountain, box, cow, fox, house, and a
window). When they are finished, I will have each student individually
read the words on the worksheet to me.
Kasl, Megan. Ow! That Hurts!
Hendricks, Lauren. The Loud Trout Shouts.
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